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Understanding Cholesterol Causes and Crevention and Control

understanding cholesterol causes and prevention and control

idhealt.com – Cholesterol is a fat produced by the body, and also comes from animal foods. Cholesterol helps the body produce vitamin D, a number of hormones, and bile acids to digest fat. In appropriate levels, this is actually needed by the body to help build new cells so that the body can continue to function normally.

understanding cholesterol causes and prevention and control

In addition, cholesterol is also needed for the digestive process, hormone production, and the formation of vitamin D. However, if cholesterol levels are too high, it is dangerous for the body because it will cause various diseases and complications.

In the blood, cholesterol is carried by protein. The combination of the two is called a lipoprotein. The two main types of lipoproteins are low-density lipoprotein (LDL) commonly known as bad cholesterol and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) commonly known as good cholesterol.

The job of LDL is to transport cholesterol from the liver to the cells that need it. However, if the amount of cholesterol exceeds the requirement, it can settle on the artery walls causing disease.

Meanwhile, HDL is responsible for transporting cholesterol back to the liver, as opposed to LDL. In the liver, cholesterol will be destroyed or excreted by the body through feces or feces.

The recommended blood cholesterol level for each person is different. It depends on each person whether they have a higher or lower risk of developing arterial disease. While the examination related to the level or amount of cholesterol in the blood can be measured through a blood test.

Causes of High Cholesterol

understanding cholesterol causes and prevention and control

If the cholesterol level in the blood exceeds the normal level, then this condition is referred to as hypercholesterolemia or high cholesterol. High cholesterol conditions can increase the risk of serious disease. Cholesterol itself is a waxy fat compound that is mostly produced in the liver and partly obtained from food.

Generally, heart attacks and strokes are diseases that lurk people with high cholesterol caused by excessive cholesterol deposition in the blood vessels.

Eating foods with high cholesterol content or lack of exercise can also cause excess cholesterol, however, heredity can also be a trigger for cholesterol.

In addition, medical conditions that can cause unhealthy cholesterol levels include:

High Cholesterol Risk Factors

 

Factors that may increase your risk of unhealthy cholesterol levels include:

      • Poor Diet.For example, consuming too much saturated fat or trans fat. Usually saturated fat is found in fatty meats and full-fat dairy products. Trans fats are often found in packaged snacks or desserts.
      • Obesity.Having a body mass index of 30 or more puts a person at risk for high cholesterol.
      • Lack of exercise.Exercise helps increase the good cholesterol in the body or HDL.
      • Smoke.This habit can reduce levels of HDL or good cholesterol.
      • Alcohol.Drinking too much alcohol can increase total cholesterol levels.
      • Age.Although children can also get high cholesterol, this condition is much more common in people over 40. As we age, the liver becomes less able to remove LDL cholesterol.

Symptoms of High Cholesterol

High cholesterol usually does not cause any symptoms. In most cases, new symptoms are felt when high cholesterol leads to the formation of plaque in the arteries.

Plaque can narrow the arteries so that less blood can pass through them. The formation of plaque changes the arrangement of the lining of the arteries. When there is deposition on the artery walls due to excessive cholesterol levels, there can be obstruction of blood flow in the heart, brain, and other parts of the body.

High cholesterol increases a person’s risk of developing narrowed arteries or atherosclerosis, blood clots in certain body parts, minor strokes, strokes, to heart attacks.

Pain in the front of the chest or in the arms (angina) when a person is under stress or doing strenuous physical activities can also be caused by high cholesterol. High cholesterol also increases a person’s risk for coronary heart disease.

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If you don’t change your diet and don’t stop smoking, people with high cholesterol will be more at risk of stroke or heart disease. Cigarettes contain a chemical called acrolein.

This substance can stop the activity of good cholesterol or HDL to transport fat deposits to the liver. As a result, narrowing of the arteries or atherosclerosis can occur.

Cholesterol Diagnosis

Checking cholesterol levels in the blood should be done if you experience symptoms of being overweight, high blood pressure, diabetes, or have other diseases that can increase cholesterol levels.

If there are close relatives who suffer from cholesterol-related diseases, or there are close relatives who have a history of cardiovascular disease at an early age, a diagnosis of cholesterol levels is highly recommended.

Diagnosis of cholesterol is made based on the results of blood tests and physical examination of the symptoms experienced by the sufferer. A family history examination will also be carried out by a doctor. This aims to determine whether there are other medical conditions that cause high cholesterol levels in the blood.

A simple blood test used to measure cholesterol levels is also known as a lipid panel. This test is useful for assessing levels of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. To perform this test, your doctor will take a sample of your blood. Then, the doctor will send the sample to a laboratory for analysis. When the test results are out, the doctor will tell you if your cholesterol or triglyceride levels are too high.

Before doing a lipid panel, your doctor may ask you not to eat or drink anything for at least the previous 12 hours.

High Cholesterol Treatment

Lifestyle changes such as exercising and eating a healthy diet are the first line of defense against high cholesterol. However, if this does not work, further treatment is usually required.

The choice of drug or drug combination depends on a variety of factors, including personal risk factors, age, health and possible drug side effects. Common treatment options include:

      • statins. Options include atorvastatin, fluvastatin, lovastatin, pitavastatin, pravastatin, rosuvastatin and simvastatin.
      • Cholesterol Absorption Inhibitors. For example, the drug ezetimibe, can help reduce blood cholesterol by limiting the absorption of dietary cholesterol. Ezetimibe can be used with statin drugs.
      • Bile Acid Binding Resin. For example, the drugs cholestyramine, colesevelam and colestipol, can lower cholesterol indirectly by binding to bile acids.
      • PCSK Inhibitors9. May help the liver absorb more LDL cholesterol. Examples of drugs are alirocumab and evolocumab.

If you also have high triglycerides, your doctor may prescribe:

      • Fibrates. The drugs fenofibrate and gemfibrozil, can reduce the liver’s production of very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) cholesterol and accelerate the removal of triglycerides from the blood.
      • Niacin. May limit the liver’s ability to produce LDL and VLDL cholesterol.
      • Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplements. May help lower triglycerides. Available by prescription or over-the-counter (OTC).

High Cholesterol Prevention

understanding cholesterol causes and prevention and control

Eating a healthy and balanced diet is one of the main steps you can take in preventing or lowering cholesterol levels. The fat content in the diet should be low.

Try replacing the consumption of foods that contain saturated fat with fruits and vegetables, and whole grains (eg, whole wheat bread), so that cholesterol levels in the body will remain low.

Avoiding smoking is also important in addition to regular diet and weight loss for those who are overweight.

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When to go to the doctor?

If you have taken precautions, but cholesterol levels remain high for several days, so that it interferes with activities, then immediately visit a doctor for advice.

The final word

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Referensi:
Medical News Today. Diakses tahun 2022. Cholesterol: What causes high cholesterol?
WebMD. Diakses tahun 2022. Cholesterol management.
Healthline. Diakses pada 2022. Everything You Need to Know About High Cholesterol.
Cleveland Clinic. Diakses pada 2022. Cholesterol Numbers: What Do They Mean.
Mayo Clinic. Diakses pada 2022. High Cholesterol.

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